Dianna Edwards Haney and Bill Hatcher will be leaving Thursday to make the 1,400-mile round-trip trek to Gettysburg.
While at the historic site, the two will pick up more than 25 honey locust seedlings from the “Witness Tree.” The Witness Tree is the very tree under which Abraham Lincoln stood to deliver his Gettysburg Address.
The trees will be brought to Cave Spring where they will be planted and shared.
“Those baby trees are bound for diverse homes throughout Georgia. City parks, private homes, elementary schools and at least one college,” Haney said.
Haney had hoped to make the trip on a chartered bus with others from Cave Spring. But when plans fell through Hatcher, who turns 80 next month, offered to make the drive with her.
“I have to say, every step along the way has been wonderful,” Haney said.
Hatcher, a retired pharmacist, will drive his bright yellow pickup truck with a king cab and a trailer to haul back the baby seedlings.
The duo won’t be making the trip without a proper send-off.
Cave Spring Elementary will be receiving two of the trees, and the students will be seeing Hatcher and Haney off as they drive away.
The students will read the Gettysburg Address, and Haney said they have made signs to hang on the truck.
The ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m.
“This is so precious and so sweet,” Haney said.
Two trees will be planted in Rolater Park upon return, one to honor the memory of longtime Cave Spring resident, Willene Smith and the other in memory of Haney’s mother, Juanelle Edwards.
Another tree will be given to Kennesaw State University and the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History. There are also plans in the works to donate a tree to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.
But Haney won’t stop at just giving trees to local residents and nearby institutions, she has bigger plans.
She said after watching the 9/11 services this past Sunday she felt the new memorial at the former site of the World Trade Center was deserving of a tree. She would also like to see one planted at the White House.
“As far as I have been able to research, the White House does not have one of these trees. I feel that particular president and that particular White House needs a tree,” she said.